The Nadler Effect: Casting for Other Derbies

Islanders will flood out of their homes on September 13 and largely disappear until October 17. While baffling and disconcerting to some, this is anything but an episode of CSI: Menemsha. It’s the seventieth Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. The Super Bowl of the sea!

But what about the butterfingered person who can’t hide a hook with squid? Or the anti–Boy Scout who can’t tie a lure without it breaking and floating off to Portugal? The hibernating teenager whose snooze button constantly separates him from ideal tides? Amidst all the glory and energy surrounding this special event, what happens to all those non-anglers left behind to warm the bench – the “jettywarmers” so to speak? We need derbies for these outcasts who don’t cast!

Derby fishermen and fisherwomen really do tend to go radio silent. Communication with the outside world means less time on the reel. Socializing with civilians risks the declassification of top-secret bluefish locations. Successful derby participation is not much different than being in the CIA. Locating a fisherman in late September can be as hard as landing a prize-winning false albacore. Therefore, a derby based on fisherman sightings would be a great way for lonely locals to keep in touch with their friends. Participants could compete to see who can take the most pictures with elusive anglers. For them, the selfie pole would be the new fishing pole!

Island selectmen’s meetings could serve as an especially fertile derby environment with dozens of category possibilities. Longest Meeting. Shortest Meeting. Heaviest Debate. Lightest Argument. Smoothest Interruption. Fiercest Handshake. Loudest Selectman. Quietest Audience Member. 

A quick skim of the almost 5,000 member “Islanders Talk” Facebook group shows that one of the top grumble topics is poor driving on Martha’s Vineyard. The time has come for a good driver derby with prizes for what matters most on our roads. Best Parker. Highest Turn Signal Utilization. Least Stop Sign Roll-Throughs. Fewest Open Letters in Islanders Talk Group Regarding Bad Driving.  

A tick derby would add a silver lining to an otherwise unfortunate situation. Fishing derby entrants have a chance at winning a boat and a truck, and this derby should have equally exciting grand prizes. A tick check after a late-summer trail hike would no longer just be a chore if it could also result in a sixty-five-inch Samsung Ultra HD 4k TV!

There’s a decent chance that some people will be offended by attempts to find humor in local policy, Facebook activism, and Lyme disease. It is supremely important that these sensitive human beings are recognized, given a voice, and supplied with a communal forum.

Last, and most certainly least, the 2015 complaining derby!